In a rematch of the first round of the Eastern Conference playoffs, the Bulls took care of the Bucks 105-95 at the United Center on Tuesday night.
After jumping out to a 20-16 first quarter lead, the Bucks were outscored 21-20 in the second period, entering halftime leading by three. Just one Bucks starter played in the second half, as the Bulls were able to pull away from Marcus Landry, Jorge Gutierrez and Co. behind a big performance from Doug McDermott.
In his first game in a (newly redesigned) Bucks uniform, Greg Monroe finished with six points, four rebounds, an assist and a steal in 17 minutes. All four of Monroe, Michael Carter-Williams (6 points), Giannis Antetokounmpo (6 points, 7 rebounds) and Khris Middleton (10 points) were done by halftime, and that was the plan all along.
Kidd said starters would play 20 minutes or fewer. Middleton, Monroe, Giannis all at 17 in first half.
— cfgardner (@cf_gardner) October 7, 2015
Would-be fifth starter Jabari Parker was held out of action as he continues to rehab his torn left ACL. Parker has looked good thus far in training camp and has not been limited, as far was what he’s able to do on the court, and he told Bucks.com that he’s simply waiting to make his return in front of the home crowd.
Jabari: I want to wait until at least we play (in Milwaukee) first, if anything…all my loyalty is in Milwaukee. https://t.co/ACbcugsOxW
— Milwaukee Bucks (@Bucks) October 6, 2015
Starting in place of Parker was rookie Rashad Vaughn, the only starter on the court to begin the third quarter. Vaughn finished with a team-high 20 points to go with three rebounds and a pair of assists (more on him below).
Notes and observations:
–O.J. Mayo has kidnapped No. 3 from Johnny O’Bryant this season, so naturally O’Bryant has switched over to the next-closest number, 77 (tip of the cap to Bargs), which makes sense considering he’d probably make an excellent left guard. Look, a jersey is just a jersey, but can you think of a time when a player switching to a number in the 70s has worked out? No, because it’s never happened. Usually taking a number over 60 means you’ve basically waved the white flag on having a successful rest of your career, like when Baron Davis wore No. 85 for the Cavs. Per Basketball-Reference, JOB is the first Bucks player to ever wear a number above 55.
–Damien Inglis offered confirmation that he can dunk a basketball:
-As did Giannis:
-And Middleton may have thrown down the clubhouse leader for preseason dunk of the year (with some not-so-subtle chirping at Butler afterward)
— Milwaukee Bucks (@Bucks) October 7, 2015
-After a so-so showing at the Las Vegas Summer League, Rashad Vaughn looked quite good in his first (kind of) real NBA game. The rookie finished with 20 points on 8-of-14 shooting, including 3-of-6 from three-point range. More importantly, he looked comfortable on the floor and didn’t hesitate to launch from deep or put the ball on the floor and manufacture mid-range looks. Late in the fourth quarter, he came around an elbow screen, took one dribble and drew a shooting foul on fellow-rookie Bobby Portis. Overall, a very encouraging debut. Whether that translates to a consistent role once the regular season begins remains to be seen.
-Wisconsin product Marcus Landry saw some action in the second half but did not score in six minutes of action.
–Doug McDermott looked like he’s ready to take on a much larger role this season in the absence of Mike Dunleavy. McDermott hit 5-of-11 three-point attempts and finished with 23 points, tied with Jimmy Butler for the team-high. He clearly worked on his body over the summer and looked to be in excellent shape.
–Damien Inglis made his long-awaited debut and finished with 11 points, nine rebounds and two blocks in 28 minutes. In Vegas, he was coming off of a foot injury and didn’t look comfortable. That wasn’t the case Tuesday. Inglis does have one glaring flaw, however, and that flaw is that he kind of looks like Johnny O’Bryant and they both wear a number ending in “7,” so I kept mixing them up when they were on the floor together. Truly terrifying.
–Jorge Gutierrez had a jumpshot blocked and was way short on a couple of jumpers. Not a great showing, though he did rack up seven assists in 18 minutes.
-44 million dollar man John Henson played only 11 minutes off the bench, finishing with an efficient eight points (3-4 FG, 2-2 FT), three rebounds and three blocks (and three fouls)
-More like E’Twaun LESS, am I right?
-The Bucks seemed to struggle getting back on defense and finding men in transition. Chicago was consistently able to push the ball up for open looks from three, and the Bulls finished with 13 made threes, compared to Milwaukee’s three (all Vaughn). Last season, the Bucks were a top-10 three-point shooting team from a percentage standpoint, but they ranked just 23rd in attempts per game. That must be addressed this season.
–Miles Plumlee had an up-and-down game. He finished with 12 points on 2-of-5 shooting but did most of his damage at the free throw line (8-9 FT). In one stretch, he finished a nice pass from Jorge Gutierrez on a pick-and-roll and shut down a one-on-one Jimmy Butler drive attempt on the other end, but he neglected to box out, enabling Butler to grab an offensive rebound and draw a foul. On the next Bulls possession, Plumlee allowed Joakim Noah to get by him for another offensive board. There’s a reason Plumlee was a minus-8 in 14 minutes.
-There’s a guy on the Bulls named Cristiano Da Silva Felicio
-The Bucks have new warmups and they are quite nice